Check Out the Thrilling New UK Trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’

Steven Soderbegh really knows how to churn ’em out. Fresh off the heat of this summer’s Magic Mike, his latest feature, the psycho-pharmaceutical thriller Side Effects, is set to open on February 8th in the U.S. We’ve seen a trailer for the film and slew of promotional material, but with the release of a new UK trailer we get a peak at a wealth of new footage, previewing the narrative more coherently while showing off the provocative, more disturbed aspects of the film. Starring Rooney Mara, Channign Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jude Law, Side Effects tells the story of successful young couple Emily and Martin (Mara and Tatum), whose world begins to unravel when Emily is prescribed a new drug intended to treat her anxiety. The side effects in question lead the story down a dark path as they become entangled in a web of psychological turmoil.

Check out the new trailer for the film below.

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First Look On the Set of Terrence Malick’s New Drama

Enigmatic director Terrence Malick is known for his signature style of filmmaking that unites sight and sound (and usually a wheat field during magic hour) to create something highly cinematic while being virtually dialogue-less (save some sweeping philosophical voiceovers). That, and the fact that his films are almost always made at least half a decade apart. At least until last year, that is, when he surprised everyone with the news that The Tree of Life was to be followed by not only To the Wonder but two other films to be rolled out in the next two years.

His latest effort, To the Wonder, premiered at Venice and Toronto to mixed reviews, and although the film is slated to star Rachel McAdams and Ben Affleck–the two providing the main image released for the film–apparently it’s ex-Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko, who garners most of the screen time. Dealing with themes of love and abandonment from God, it seems audiences are not digesting this one well, and U.S. distribution remains to be seen. His next drama, Knight of Cups, which is said to star Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, and Cate Blanchett, is currently in post-production with a new log line released that reveals the film as “a story of a man, temptations, celebrity, and excess.”  With a description that vague, we could assume he’s basing this off a Bret Easton Ellis novel. But whatever, there’s still more coming. Now that he’s got that one in the can, his next elusive project, previously titled Lawless, seems to be in full swing with Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara in starring roles. 

Last fall, photos of Mara and Gosley frolicking around Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas, began circling around with buzz about another Malick picture in the works. And as one could deduce, those shots were tests for what is now known as Untitled Terrance Malick Project. The only word revealed on the film is that it involves “two intersecting love triangles," and is "a story of sexual obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.” Not too much can be gathered from these new on-set photos, but we can tell the film looks to feature bridges, puppies, Gosling behind the wheel (as usual), and Rooney Mara sans Lisbeth Salander harshness. Principal photography appears to be going swimmingly (and Terrence seems to be looking like he’s on a safari), but again, it’s Malick so, who really knows?

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The Met Costume Gala: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Last night was the annual Costume Institute Ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, a yearly event in which the biggest A-list stars and some models I’ve never heard of gather together in crazy dresses to take pictures on a red carpet. It’s like the Oscars, but nobody gets an award and everyone looks like a total weirdo. It’s very fashion-forward! And, per usual, there were some hits, misses, and some outfits that looked like LSD flashbacks. Click through to see our photo gallery of this year’s stand-outs!

Linkage: Uggie To Bark A Memoir, E! Gives Scripted TV A Try

Is there nothing this dog can’t do? Uggie, the adorable and talented dog from The Artist, has been tapped to "bark" a memoir for Gallery Books. Human author Wendy Holden will be on paw to translate. [ArtsBeat]

For their first forays into scripted television, E! Entertainment is working on a Wizard of Oz inspired series (Dorthy), a modern-day re-staging of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII’s story in modern day (Anne of Hollywood), and of course the required legal thriller (Juror #9) and detective procedural (Amy Devlin Mysteries). As if their real-life stars aren’t drama enough… [Deadline]

Busy busy, Miss Rooney Mara is circling yet another project, this one a story about outlaws featuring Ben Foster and Casey Affleck called Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. [PlayList]

Is your online presence more "completely nuts" Rihanna or "cool" and "poised" Beyoncé? [BitsBlog]

This summer, John Darinielle is reissuing early Mountain Goats’ cassettes Hound Chronicles and Hot Garden Stomp as a digital or a cd compilation. "No one anticipated their coming into the world, and very few noticed or cared," writes Darinelle of the tapes original release. "The obscurity in which these songs were incubated and born and brought into their faint light is a state of being which has passed into history." [Pitchfork]

Vice turns a camera back at the paparazzi to give them a taste of their own medicine. [Vice]

Linkage: Jay-Z & Rihanna Are Olympic-Bound

From the throne to the podium: Jay-Z and Rihanna will lead off the London 2012 Olympics as headliners for BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, an event that British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt assures "will be absolutely something for everyone: from Beethoven to Jay-Z, from Shakespeare to Mike Leigh." [HipHopDX]

Chloe Sevigny is allegedly in negotiations to join American Horror Story in it’s second season as Shelly the Nymphomaniac, the mortal enemy to Jessica Lange’s Constance. [EW]

Rooney Mara has officially signed on to lead the Nick Hornby scripted big screen adaptation of Colm Toibin’s popular 2009 novel Brooklyn. [THR]

Meet Stalker Sarah, the 16-year-old girl who is famous amongst famous people for having met everyone from Justin Bieber to Oprah to James Caan and then Justin Bieber again. [Jezebel]

Jadakiss says his new lush new ‘do is just to show people — his mother included — that he can actually grow hair after being bald so long. "My mom didn’t think my hair could grow, that was just crazy," explained ‘Kiss during his segment on MTV2’s Sucker Free. "I was like, ‘ma, c’mon. What’s wrong with you?" [OnSmash]

Ron Fricke, the man behind the beautiful and celebrated Baraka, returns after two decades dormant with Samsara, a new nonverbal documentary that was show in over 100 location in 25 countries on 70mm film. Tree of what, you say? [IndieWire]

Morning Links: One Direction Sued, Rooney Mara Gets A New Look

● One Direction, an American band formed in 2009, has taken up legal action against the baby-faced British boy band which has been topping charts and selling out arenas using the same name. [TMZ]

● Doh! Turns out, the Simpson‘s Springfield is not just any Springfield — it is modeled on Springfield, Oregon, a town nearby to Portland, where the show’s creator, Matt Groenig, grew up. [MSNBC]

● Little Elle Fanning is in talks to join God Help the Girl, the Kickstart-ed film musical of Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. [Variety]

● The guests are not so sure about Kim Kardashian’s decision to donate her wedding gifts to charity. "What is a charity going to do with a Tiffany picture frame or an onyx vase?" they ask, seemingly unaware of how many kids in America go to bed each night without an onyx vase to call their own. [PageSix]

● Oops! Demi Lovato nearly ran over former Beatle Paul McCartney in a parking lot. [NYDN]

● The weight of Lisbeth Salander lifted, Rooney Mara was caught on the set of her upcoming film, The Bitter Pill, with long ombre hair and an almost smile. [Us]

Natalie Portman’s First Post-Oscar Role: Two Terrence Malick Films

Following her Best Actress Oscar victory for The Black Swan, Natalie Portman took maternity leave so she could raise her child, like any responsible mother would. After a year, the hiatus is over: Deadline reports that she’s just signed on to star in two Terrence Malick films, both set to shoot this year. For the first, Knights of the Cups, she’ll join Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Isabel Lucas; in the second, Lawless, she’ll be alongside Bale, Blanchett, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett. No plot details are forthcoming, of course, just the way Malick likes it. 

It’s not the first mysterious Malick project of recent: We’re still waiting to here on the as-yet untitled Ben Affleck-starring flick  that he shot after finishing last year’s The Tree of Life. That one, in case your memory isn’t so firm, is about a ladies’ man (Affleck) who enters a string of (I presume) emotionally complicated relationships with two women, played by Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams. It’s supposed to be the only film Malick’s shot that takes place in the present day, but with little progress announced following a few 2011 reports, it’s hard to say anything else. Considering Malick’s pedigree it’s easy to see why so many actors want to work with him, but it is a little surprising that he’s so openly embraced this generation of Hollywood actors factoring in his penchant for snubbing the Hollywood industry. With two Oscar nominations for The Tree of Life — Best Picture and Best Director — maybe he’s just feeling the love.

The streak of productivity is new, but reassuring: Malick famously spent 20 years in the wild before returning to showbiz with The Thin Red Line, followed by another seven before 2005’s The New World. With three projects in secretive development, maybe Malick is just trying to cash in all of his film chits before death finds its way into his backyard. But not to get depressing: below, watch the uplifting final scene from The New World, still one of the most — fuck it — elegiac things I’ve ever seen in a movie.

2011 Oscar Nominations Go More or Less as Expected

With the speed of a lumbering engine powered by critical hubris and self-importance, the 84th Academy Awards nominations dropped into our newsfeeds this morning with predictable result. Did you know that people liked The Descendants this year, The Artist as well? Brad Pitt and George Clooney scored the requisite Hollywood heartthrob acting votes (they will lose to the no-name French guy who doesn’t talk), while Meryl Streep got her due for sticking around. Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese were also nominated, just like they always are. It’s another Oscar ceremony, y’all!

But not to sound cynical or anything. It’s somewhat surprising, though definitely nice, to see Terrence Malick get official recognition for The Tree of Life, even if there’s almost no way the hype-happy Academy will give their highest awards to a movie with more than a handful of inscrutably artsy scenes. Equally surprising on the other end is the inclusion of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a movie that no one seemed to like but not for any inscrutably artsy reasons, simply because it’s kind of schmaltzy and not very good. Why not give the spot to something innocuous like Bridesmaids or even the last Harry Potter movie, if they’re trying to go commercial? Madness, it’s all madness. (I won’t even get started on Albert Brooks’ snub for Drive.) You can look at the important nominees below, or go to the Academy’s website for the full list.

Best Picture
The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse

Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir – A Better Life, George Clooney – The Descendants, Jean Dujardian – The Artist, Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis – The Help, Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Directing
Michael Hazanavicius – The Artist, Alexander Payne – The Descendants, Martin Scorsese – Hugo, Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris, Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branaugh – My Week with Marilyn, Jonah Hill – Moneyball, Nick Nolte – Warrior, Christopher Plummer – Beginners, Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo – The Artist, Jessica Chastain – The Help, Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs, Octavia Spencer – The Help

The Real Mystery of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’: Why Was It So Long?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: did you see it? And by "see it" I mean, "Did you really spend two and a half hours of your life experiencing Steig Larsson’s crime thriller in all its bleak, pedantic, and simultaneously boring and horrific glory?" If not, you might not want to read ahead as this piece contains some major spoilers. Then again, you’ve probably already read the books.

While there are many reasons to like this film (the opening sequence alone might be worth the ticket price), there is no justification for having the movie stretch out so long. Was there not enough room in the budget for a film editor? Was it just a terrible adaptation, in that the film couldn’t figure out what sequences to leave in (anything involving Lisbeth, up until the extended denouement) and what to cut out (90% of the scenes in the library or in which characters looked through filing boxes)?

I could have read the whole book in the time it took to watch the movie. This is only a slight exaggeration. If you just spread the time out over a matter of days, a speed reader would be able to digest this pulpy crime novel in less than two and a half hours total. Not the same could be said for David Fincher’s movie, which – like an angry, sadistic guardian — sits your ass down and makes sure you watch every second of the less-than-riveting expository scenes. When you get right down to it, the major clues to figuring out the Vanger family mystery involved finding a photograph of someone else taking a photograph. And even then our hero Mikael Blomkvist needed the ending spelled out for him. You’d think with Lisbeth’s help they would have been able to cut some of these scenes down to a more slimming total.

Here’s a suggestion: why not group all the horrific rape scenes together? It would have been nice not to have a heart attack right in the middle of would have been a gentle, snow-filled slumber right before jolting out of our seat as the movie drastically cut back and forth between Mikael’s sleuthing and Lisbeth’s attacks. It was somewhat important to juxtapose our two heroes’ journeys on parallel tracks before they meet, but when Daniel Craig is just sifting through boxes and Rooney Mara is getting *explicative* up the *explicative* with an *explicative*, it just adds extra time to your film, when you could just as easily group all the boring stuff and all the horrifying bits into different parts of the movie and sell it as a double feature, Kill Bill-style.

And honestly, what American movie-goer wouldn’t be able to figure out the killer’s identity as soon as he’s introduced on screen? Stellan Skarsgård is like the Chekov’s gun of movie villains. It’s a well-known rule that if you put the Good Will Hunting actor in your movie and the bad guy hasn’t been revealed by the second act, you can expect his Swedish ass to reveal a secret death chamber blasting Enya and knockout gas in the third. (Even his son, Alexander, has a hard time playing the good guy. See: True Blood and Straw Dogs.) Even those of us who haven’t already read the books can pretty much deduce Martin Vanger as the true culprit responsible for Harriet’s disappearance the moment he appears on screen with that creepy Nordic smile.

Mr. Fincher and writer Steven Zaillian must have also forgotten that we as an audience don’t give a crap about Wennerström, the evil magnate who has Blomkvist convicted on libel charges in the beginning of the film. Roughly half an hour is tacked onto the end of this movie in a haphazard fashion so we can see Wennerström get his due long after the Vanger mystery has been solved and the killer has been, well, killed. And in this half-hour there is more action and plot development than in the first two hours of film, so right when you are ready to leave the theater, you are crammed with all this extra information about a character you forgot about twenty minutes in. Sure, it might have been in the books, but we didn’t need it.

One part of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that they actually could have explained more thoroughly? How our hero kept mysteriously losing his accent. Perhaps a greater mystery than how a family of Nazis was allowed to live on a death island without the Swedish government’s interference is how, as Mikael Blomkvist, Daniel Craig couldn’t find twenty minutes to try to locate where his diction went. Oh there it is! No wait, he lost it again.

Then again, maybe they’ll just address that in the sequel: The Man Who Confused Squinting with Acting.